whiterabbitpresents

How To Be Hopeful Episode 17 “Hope Is A Forest”

This episode I speak with artist Evgenia Emets from her home in Portugal about hope and her project Eternal Forest. We speak about the joy and  peace to be found in forests, and of Evgenia’s plans to create 1000 “Eternal Forest Sanctuaries” which will last for 1000 years, and about her hopes for a “quieter world” which we may look forward to

 

Eternal Forest is an ongoing long term art project which, Evgenia explains “will continue as long as I am alive and beyond” wherein we can “treat these spaces as sacred and connect with nature in a different way… and learn from nature…. creating these spaces with purposes and intention, with communities … and  protected by them”

 

We speak about the need to let go of patterns in our societies that no longer serve us:

“the idea of a piece of forest being property is something that I believe in the future will not exist… “

 

And we discuss how the lock down gave us a chance to practise and experience different ways of being, and to discover what is important. Evgenia says

“We are conditioned to think that everything has to have a monetary value…  

But there are things in life we can’t put the market value tag on-  like love, nature,  family”

 

We speak about the challenge of burn out for changemakers and activists:

“Sometimes you need to fail really badly… and come out if it with new knowledge….  it is not always about achieving something right here right now - maybe it’s about building a foundation for things to be done by other people”

 

We speak about the importance of joy and of dreaming

“ I look for the dreamtime that has been lost… what is asking me to work with it…  as soon as we make these decisions something magical happens…  nature says ok now I am going to show you things that you really need to see and to learn. This is what comes to you when you are still and quiet for long enough…. So let’s ask ourselves  “how do we do things differently with joy?”

 

About Evgenia:

 

To keep up with Evgenia and Eternal Forest you can find her on socials here: 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Photona/videos?view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=1

Twitter: @EvgeniaEmets

Instagram: @evgenia_emets

Facebook: @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/eternalforest/ 

 

About Bernadette:

My latest book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out 10thSeptember 2020. You can pre-order the book in these places:

WATERSTONES > https://bit.ly/2VTGvgg

AMAZON > https://amzn.to/3iBZSEr

HIVE > https://bit.ly/3e9zPAW

FIND YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP > https://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell

Instagram  @bernadetterussell 

Facebook @bernadetterussellwrites 

 

 

How To Be Hopeful Episode 16 “There Is Always Hope”

This episode I speak with Penny Pepper “acclaimed wheelchair-using author, poet, performer & disabled activist” about hope and creativity, mental health, stories, swearing, burlesque and nature amongst other things…

 

I was lucky enough to grab a chat with Penny on the weekend she was finishing her latest novel. We spoke about the hope that she finds in nature it’s good for us to not be overburdened by stuff that’s not really important. ... I have swifts that come over my house every day, and I know that they will fly off fairly soon as they are migratory birds … I like the idea that whatever else is going on, next year there’ll be swifts flying over this house

 

We discuss Penny further exploring the positive aspects of performing on zoom and how “ it removes a lot of access barriers whilst still capturing a live experience” about her upcoming life modelling and interview on Isolation Station with Lucien Freud’s model and muse Sue Tilley (details below)

 

We talk about the importance of disabled peoples stories “ any story told starts to break down the clichés and the discrimination….  a greater range of stories expands our experiences of humanity.”

 

Penny talks about the time she rendered Ruby Wax speechless “for about 8 seconds” at the Edinburgh Festival , about learning to value her mental health issues as making her who she is, and about how despite going through very difficult times there are always signs of hope when we need them , from nature, from people doing kind things, from being encouraged by others to persevere and from getting lost in the creative process “like a kind of mindfulness”

 

Penny speaks about her idea of  Utopia which  includes a fairer more equal society (“where we let the Queen retire… she’ll probably be relieved”)  and one in  which “we all have equality and we work towards that… where  everyone’s  lives are valued and we respect our differences as enriching the whole,  but that means understanding that disabled people aren’t just waiting for a cure that’s never going to come… realising that being disabled is  part of the normal experience of humanity “

 

Penny encourages us all to try out anything and everything our hearts desire, ““spread your wings, spread your wheels, spread your mind and try, because there is  always hope, there bloody well is always hope”

 

More soon! 

Love Bernadette xx

 

About Penny:

Penny’s memoir “First In the World Somewhere” is available in all the usual places. Her new book centres around Nancy Jones- a disabled time travelling rebel,

“strong funny and wilful” - to keep up with this and her other work you can find her on socials here: 

:

Twitter: @PenPep

Instagram: @mspennypepper

Facebook: @PennyPepperWriter

 

Isolation Station with Sue Tilley can be found here https://www.isolationstationhastings.co.uk

 

About Bernadette:

My latest book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out 10thSeptember 2020. You can pre-order the book in these places:

WATERSTONES > https://bit.ly/2VTGvgg

AMAZON > https://amzn.to/3iBZSEr

HIVE > https://bit.ly/3e9zPAW

FIND YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP > https://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell

Instagram  @bernadetterussell 

Facebook @bernadetterussellwrites 

 

How To be Hopeful Episode 15 “This time, there is a listening happening”

This episode I speak with Natasha Magigi, an incredible actor who has worked with the RSC, the Globe Theatre and is an Artistic Associate of Teatro Vivo. We covered a lot! Positive change in the industry, the importance of storytelling, Black Lives Matters ("a movement, not a moment") , defining success on your own terms, the comfort and importance of finding a community so you know you are not suffering alone and you have support. 

Tash talks abut her surprise at being cast as Hero in "Much Ado About Nothing" at the Globe She says didn’t expect to get it because  “I hadn’t really seen fat women in love story roles that weren’t comic… " and how broader casting is a source of hope too. Tash has gone on to play many roles in Shakespeare including Juliet and has toured the world doing so. 

 We talk about the life of an actor and the importance of "defining success on your own terms... if you are doing what you love, so this is success" and how although there is much work still to do, positive changes are happening, Tash talks about the many things that are buoying her : the conversations about the stories being told and who is telling the stories: the demands to have more women (with the 50: 50 campaign) the conversations about racial diversity, colour blind /colour conscious casting, ableism, the conversations about  age in the industry "We need to see more older women on stage and on screen because women don’t die when they turn 40" 

Tash speaks about her mum taking her to see Jesse Jackson speak in Harlsden when she was 6 years old "I remember being in a room with lots of black adults crying and singing "We Shall Overcome" and now I am 30 something, I am still surrounded by black adults wanting to be heard,  older than me, younger than me, and children screaming to be heard, and I feel like his time there is a listening happening. How long do we have to keep shouting to be heard ?"

We speak about learning about each other by hearing each others stories, because we have so much in common "We love our families, we love each other, we just need to love all of each other"

To find out more about Natasha's latest show (coming up August 202)  go here

You can connect with her on socials here:

twitter:@TashaGigi

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tashagigi

Natasha Magigi spent the majority of 2019 touring the world with Pericles, The Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night as part of the Globe on Tour. She has performed in a number of productions at Shakespeare’s Globe, including Comus – A Masque in Honour of Chastity at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Maria in Twelfth Night and Hero in Much Ado in the main theatre, and Sonnet Walks and Shakespeare Within the Abbey.Other recent theatre includes Don Quixote with the RSC in the West End, The Country Wife at Chichester Festival Theatre and Lady Windermere’s Fan as part of Classic Spring’s year at the Vaudeville theatre, directed by Kathy Burke and starring Jennifer Saunders.

More soon! 

Love Bernadette

My book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out September 2020. You can pre-order the book in these places:

WATERSTONES > https://bit.ly/2VTGvgg
FIND YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP > https://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell insta @bernadetterussell 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bernadetterussellwrites/ 

How To Be Hopeful Episode 14- “Making The Ordinary Extraordinary”

This episode I speak with Gemma Seltzer, writer and facilitator of “Write And Shine” – writing workshops and retreats which help people to find their writing lives and celebrate “the joyful inspirational power of the morning”

 Gemma has created some other amazing projects and speaks about some of them here, including “Speak To Strangers” and “Look Up At The Sky” . She speaks about making the “ ordinary extraordinary’ and about how she is interested in how you can “ create the conditions to really connect with people…”

We speak about the power of active, compassionate listening, as well as how Gemma finds hope right now, particularly  in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement “there isn’t just one way to contribute to social change … in this moment there is a range of ways… the hope lies in  us working out what we can do to contribute - seeing people work out the step forward gives me hope”

We speak about our shared belief in the power of small everyday actions because   “ If we do something every day the world can potentially change”

We also speak about the hope and lifeline that can be provided to people by finding space and time to be creative. Gemma says  it can help you to “trust your own voice “ and that it also helps “with empathy towards others … it is quite magical… transformative  “

To find out more about Gemma's workshops go here: https://write-and-shine.com 

you can connect with her on socials here:

twitter:@writeandshine

instagram: @writeandshine.ldn

More soon! 

Love Bernadette

My book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out September 2020. You can pre-order the book in these places:

WATERSTONES > https://bit.ly/2VTGvgg
FIND YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP > https://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell insta @bernadetterussell 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bernadetterussellwrites/ 

How To Be Hopeful Episode 13 “Pushing Back With Hope”

This week I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the artist, musician, and poet  Landry Butler from Nashville, one of the  hubs of community and creativity in the beautiful American south.

We spoke about many things including how art and creativity can help hope to grow, the importance of people singing together,  and how despite growing in America, hope is growing too

“ we have to push back with our own hope,  the belief that we like to work together and build each other up, we can do that … still have the hope that we can do something positive”

We spoke a lot about the importance of knowing the stories that have been left out or “edited so that they don’t tell the whole truth”  as Landry says, if we knew them we would be “better people because we would have an idea of where we came from and where we’re headed”  and Landry speaks about the comfort that knowing  our history can provide “some of my ancestors were enslaved and dealt with the horrors of slavery which is something I can’t even imagine, but they survived which is the reason I am here today, and that brings me a lot of hope, to know that things and sometimes do get worse but if you take it one step at a time you can survive and you can build something positive out of it” We also spoke about  the hope that has been inspired by the Black Lives Matters movement, and how allies can best help outside of marching and protesting   “talk about it with other white people and to study up on racism”. We spoke about activism in which  “you need to get people’s attention and you need a plan” and what utopia might look like, when we are all free of fear.

All of this PLUS  a track from Landry’s band the Inglewood Social Club for your listening pleasure!

 You can find out more about the wonderful Sunday Assembly here:

About Black Lives Matter (U.S) here:

And about Landry here: http://landrybutler.com/

Inglewood Social Club here: https://inglewoodsocialclub.bandcamp.com/

And watch on YouTube here: - https://is.gd/G8mOLb 

More soon!

Love Bernadette

My book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out September 2020. This podcast series is a chance for me to chat again to some of the people who I interviewed for the book, as well as some people who I didn't have the chance to. I hope you enjoy it. 

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell insta @bernadetterussell 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bernadetterussellwrites/ 

 

WONDER episode 4: original short stories read aloud from Revelation Ashford

WONDER Episode four

Here is the  last episode in our series of short story podcasts on the theme of WONDER in collaboration with Revelation Ashford.Recorded during lock down 2020 in Deptford. Hope you enjoy the stories

Track one: Sea of Wonder by Ranna Sillard

Story one: "The Women On The Bus" by Jo Tandy

Read by Bernadette Russell and Emma Waterford

Track two: Serenity of Midsummer by Clarke Russo

Story two: ""Heaven Sent" by Susan Handley

Read by Bernadette Russell

Track three "When Morning Came” Clarke Russo

Story three: OK, Daddy-long-legs and the Infinite Web" by Niamh Bagnell

Read by Gareth Brierley

 Track four: “Waltz With Me” by Martin Carlberg

Please follow us to hear more podcasts in the future! 

This new work has been made possible thanks to the funding partners of Revelation which are: Ashford Borough Council, Arts Council England, Kent County Council and The Godinton Trust.

 

 

How To Be Hopeful Episode 12 “Home Made Mutant Hope Machines”

How To Be Hopeful Episode 12  “Home Made Mutant Hope Machines”

Welcome to my podcast about hope. This week, in celebration of Pride Month,  I speak the amazing Ben Walters AKA Dr. Duckie. Inspired by the wonderful performance art collective Duckie, whose regular home is the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Ben has recently completed a PHD focusing on their work and projects. During his research he developed the incredible concept of “Home Made Mutant Hope Machines”  : “a form or a process which  routinely generates the idea that a better world is possible”

We had a great chat about many things including about how change and uncertainty as well as bringing chaos and discomfort can also “bring the possibly of hope for positive change”

Please listen to find out exactly how Ben defines his hope machines, about the fabulous and important work of Duckie, about the radical nature of fun, and the importance of valuing pleasure, and the link between carnivalesque and political change

 

In this episode Ben asks us to consider our own Home Made Mutant Hope Machines, by thinking about what regularly gives you hope, “it could be an object, an  event, a relationship,  a habit,  an organisation ….  if it doesn’t exist yet … what might it be?”  

 

You can submit your ideas, plus find out more about Ben’s work and Duckie here: http://www.duckie.co.uk/dr-duckie

 

You can watch the live talk Ben gave at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IT0gKR--d4I

 

More soon!

Love Bernadette

My book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out September 2020. This podcast series is a chance for me to chat again to some of the people who I interviewed for the book, as well as some people who I didn't have the chance to. I hope you enjoy it. 

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell insta @bernadetterussell 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bernadetterussellwrites/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Be Hope Hopeful- Season 1- Episode 11- “Finding The Golden Moments”

How To Be Hopeful Season 1 Episode 11  “Finding the Golden Moments”

Welcome to my podcast about hope. This week I speak with Denis Kane, who is project manager at Penfold Community Hub in West London.  Penfold is a residential unit primarily for older people with long term health conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s. The wider community is invited in to the hub to take part in the wide range of activities that take place there, including gardening, Zumba, sewing, art, cooking, choir and theatre to name a few!

Denis talks beautifully about the tremendous value of community and how it gives him hope “I see hope all over the place, particularly in my work… working with amazing people and amazing projects. I have found tremendous hope in how resilient people have been. I slightly lose hope when I think about politics,  but I don’t when I remember projects like ours…. the simple things that can have an impact on people who are on the edge, engaging them, that gives me hope… reaching the quiet person at the back of the room who lacks confidence… this gives me hope too”

He also speaks about how all of us in the simplest of ways can engage positively with our communities and the hope to be found in small everyday actions: “It doesn’t need an emergency for us to come together as a community and take care of those who need it… contributing to your community is stopping in the street to have a chat "

Penfold Community hub is a charity and part of Notting Hill Genesis, a housing association which works to provide decent and affordable homes for lower-income households. 

You can find them here: https://www.nhg.org.uk/communities/penfold-community-hub/

You can see some beautiful images of projects Penfold created in collaboration with the Royal Albert Hall here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/76734716@N08/albums/72157709571759316

And here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/76734716@N08/albums/72157709532024177

And a trailer of one of the projects here: https://www.royalalberthall.com/about-the-hall/news/2018/july/open-stages-programme-brings-together-two-communities-for-a-unique-performance-in-the-elgar-room/

More soon!

Love Bernadette

My book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out September 2020. This podcast series is a chance for me to chat again to some of the people who I interviewed for the book, as well as some people who I didn't have the chance to. I hope you enjoy it. 

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell insta @bernadetterussell 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bernadetterussellwrites/ 

 

 

 

How To Be Hopeful Season 1 Episode 10 “I am an advocate of hope”

Welcome to my podcast about hope. This week is about how we find hope even when we are dying or keeping company with someone at the end of their life- if hope is possible or helpful at such a time. To speak with me about these matters I was honoured to be joined by Nikki Jones, a palliative care nurse and make up artist. We spoke specifically about the challenges and changes that have happened in her hospice during lock down, when “we are not allowed visitors in the hospice right now…. so, it feels that the soul is taken out of it … …. a patient is telling you something so profound and you put a gloved hand out… you think it’s just not good enough… but you know it is good enough because it is what we have to do, we have to be creative and find ways around it… I work with amazing people  and we support each other”

Nikki speaks about  how hope comes into her work: “I am an advocate for hope. If you walked in the doors of our hospice you would find the feeling of hope is tangible. Hope doesn’t have to be a massive thing hope, can be something tiny.” She talks about how hope exists in the moment, in the present, and that her and her colleagues look for “what we can do…  to make you hopeful for that moment… it might be just to smile again or for your relatives to see you smile again… hope is always there, and it carries a lot of people’s journeys”

We also spoke about the wonder of make-up, the power of simplicity, the importance of finding inner peace  and the beauty of a really great cup of tea.

Nikki recommended Kathryn Mannix’s talk “Dying Is Not As Bad As You Think” which can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/ideas/videos/dying-is-not-as-bad-as-you-think/p062m0xt

if you want to find out more or support Martlets Hospice in Hove you can go here: https://www.martlets.org.uk

More soon!

Love Bernadette

My book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out September 2020. This podcast series is a chance for me to chat again to some of the people who I interviewed for the book, as well as some people who I didn't have the chance to. I hope you enjoy it. 

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell insta @bernadetterussell 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bernadetterussellwrites/ 

WONDER episode 3- original short stories read aloud from Revelation Ashford

We have been working remotely with the lovely team at Revelation Ashford  to create a little bit of wonder -  since we won't able to do a live show until later in the year, we're sharing a taste of what we've been up to online to keep you entertained at home.

Make yourself a cuppa or something stronger and join us in Wonderland!  We've created a series of short story podcasts to help us all get through these strange days.  Featuring the work of local writers and read aloud by the team at White Rabbit, here for your listening pleasure.

This is the third of  four podcasts in the series that will be broadcast here on the first of each month, you'll also be able to search for them on iTunes and YouTube.  We'll send you a reminder each month, and you can follow us here to ensure you don't miss any 

WONDER Episode three

1 JUNE:

Track 1: “Sea of Wonder” by Rannar Sillard

First story; "Wonder"  by Fiona O'Brien read by Bernadette Russell
 

Track 2: “A Magic Moon” by Howard Harper-Barnes

Second story: "Wonder Man" by Zac Thraves read by Gareth Brierley

Track 3: “The Moon” by Illuminaries

 

Coming up:

1 JULY:

"The Women On The Bus" by Jo Tandy
"OK, Daddy-long-legs and the Infinite Web" by Niamh Bagnell
"Heaven Sent" by Sue McGonigal

This new work has been made possible thanks to the funding partners of Revelation which are: Ashford Borough Council, Arts Council England, Kent County Council and The Godinton Trust.

join our mailing list here: http://www.thewhiterabbit.org.uk

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